Seven Marriage Building Principles
This past weekend my husband and I attended a couples retreat. We had a lovely time of getting to know the other couples along with the Christian fellowship. I wanted to share the points that were given by the speaker Pastor Lucky Dixon and his wife Gigi Dixon.
The Seven Marriage Building Principles were drawn from Colossians 3:18-4:1.
I. Treat your spouse the way you would expect royalty to treat people. (vs 18)
Col 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
The point being made here is that we are children of the King. We are royal. How would you expect royalty to treat their people? With graciousness, courtesy and respect. I must admit to having a problem with this point because of my preconceived notions that most royals we study in history were not fine examples of how they treated their people. My husband had to explain this one point. I view this point as showing our spouses that they are of great worth. When we treat our spouses as royalty we are careful to meet our spouses needs and even try to anticipate each other’s needs. We should not expect things to be of an implied nature. Yelling for the wife or kids to “Get you a drink” with out the courtesy of a please or thank you sends a different message. There is a grave misconception in the world that when a women submits to her husband she becomes subservient to him. Sadly, I have seen that kind of teaching where this verse is used and families have been destroyed. Husbands have taken this passage and used it to beat down their wives and that isn’t what Paul is saying in this passage.
Mathew Henry’s Commentary has this to say;
We must never separate the privileges and duties of the gospel. Submission is the duty of wives. But it is submission, not to a severe lord or stern tyrant, but to her own husband, who is engaged to affectionate duty. And husbands must love their wives with tender and faithful affection.
Don’t assume with your spouse. Don’t say something with the understanding that it is implied. It doesn’t take but a mere second to use courtesy. I had a problem with always volunteering my husband to do things for other people. I just assumed that he wouldn’t mind. For the most part, he didn’t mind but he would appreciate a heads up on occasion. Now, I don’t tell people my husband will do anything without checking with him first and allowing him to decide if it is something he can fit in to an all ready busy schedule. This may not seem like much but I was always volunteering him because I was proud of his skills and his abilities. He is fine with that….but I wasn’t being courteous or was overtaxing my husbands time.
It is a common trap that couples can fall into that we must be aware of and prevent. Our marriages take on a level of familiarity that we neglect common courtesies. We really need to guard ourselves over this type of complacency. It can lead to feelings of being unappreciated and taken advantage of which then lead to the next point in the Principles which is not allowing bitterness to get a foothold in our relationships. When we have these feelings and they are not addressed then we start to feel angry and from anger we fall into bitterness.
Always try to be considerate and treat each other like you did the first date. You may find a renewal in your relationship that only needed a little loving tender care. Our marriages are like gardens that constantly need tending. Once the weeds get a foothold it is difficult to keep the rows straight without tilling up the whole garden. It is much more advantageous to keep it weeded, nourished and watered regularly. There are alot of principles about gardening that can be applied to a marriage. If you want a garden (your marriage) that is going to produce a healthy, tender, juicy crop then guard it well. Keep the weeds out. Water it regularly and nourish it often.
If gardening isn’t your thing then here is a story I will share. There once was an old time evangelist that came to our church back when I was a little girl. Now this is farm country but the men in the church were really hooked on racing, trucks and tractors. This white haired gentleman stood there and proceeded to tell the men that their wives are like a finely tuned motor. You need to change the air filter periodically and check the spark plugs and make sure the oil is just right. You keep the engine clean and take care of the maintenance and this vehicle will last for a long time. He said we need to do the same for our wives. We need to make sure their spark plugs are not shorting out and causing their engines to sputter. Make sure they have the right weight of oil so all the parts are lubed properly so the pistons and such won’t knock and take them out once a week, hose them off and wax them up so they will shine all purrty like……(That got a few chuckles…) Women…don’t trash up the car. Take care of the inside and hubby won’t mind gassing it up for you and keeping it in good working order. The point is that we will take more care with other things we own then we will our spouses. Well…if you want to have a marriage for the long haul. Make sure you have the properly scheduled maintenance done. Marriage is no different then a garden or a car. Provided it is given the proper care.
Watch for point number II…….